ST. PETERSBURG — An undercover police detective shot an armed suspect in the leg Wednesday afternoon, thwarting what police said was a three-member crew suspected of pulling off seven robberies in the last two weeks.
The shooting occurred about 4:40 p.m., outside the Dollar General Store at 830 49th St. N, St. Petersburg police said. The wounded suspect, Isah Chisom, 20, of 4540 23rd Ave. S., was struck once in the left leg after a he pointed a handgun at an undercover officer, police said. His injury was not life-threatening, police said.
Police confronted Chisom and two accomplices as they left the store, police said. Also arrested were Nathaniel Barnes, 32, of 1726 42nd St. S, and Danielle Johns, 20, of 1700 42nd St. S, police said.
Chisom, who was taken to Bayfront Medical Center for his wounds, was arrested on charges of robbery and aggravated assault on a law enforcement officer. The other suspects were arrested on robbery charges and were being held at the Pinellas County Jail, police said, adding that more charges may follow for all three suspects.
Police said undercover detectives had been studying a pattern of robberies in the area, and were doing surveillance work near the Dollar General Store.
In the past two weeks, there have been seven armed robberies from 28th to 49th streets between Central Avenue and Ninth Avenue N, police said. All of the robberies had the same pattern: one man acted as a lookout as two armed men went inside and robbed the store.
That's what happened Wednesday. Detectives watched as Johns parked a green Subaru station wagon in a side parking lot. Chisom and Barnes stepped out of the car, pulling hoods over their heads and bandanas over their faces as they entered the store.
Six customers and three clerks were inside, police said, but only one employee who was at one of two cash registers saw or heard the robbers. Chisom pointed the gun at one worker and filled a bag with cash. In just minutes, they were out of the store. No one inside the store was hurt.
In the side parking lot, officers pounced. After resisting orders to stop, Chisom raised a loaded .45-caliber, semiautomatic handgun toward the detective, and the officer fired two rounds, police said. Chisom was struck in the left leg. Both suspects were quickly detained. Johns tried to drive away but was boxed in near Eighth Avenue N by an undercover police vehicle, police said. Police said the stolen cash was recovered.
The officer who fired, a 12-year veteran who is 40, was not identified because he works undercover, said police spokesman Mike Puetz. He will be placed on paid administrative leave until an internal investigation is completed, Puetz said.